Nancy Pelosi laid down the law during a press availability after a Democratic caucus meeting on the Republican refusal to fund national security, “In January, ‘Je Suis Charlie’ swept the world. Everybody in the world was concerned about homeland security in each person’s county, certainly we in ours – everybody, except in the hermetically sealed chamber of the House of Representatives, where there is still a refusal to accept the fact that we must fund the Homeland Security Department in order to protect the American people in the best possible way.”
“… (T)he Homeland Security appropriation is an important matter that has not been sufficiently dealt with in the House of Representatives. We take an oath to support and protect the American people, [from] the Constitution of the United States. The Homeland Security Department is that vehicle. We have 17 days until the expiration of the – what was that called, the CRomnibus? The short term funding of Homeland Security legislation – only six of those days are legislative days.
“We have the leader on the Republican side saying: ‘Why do we have to’ do anything, when Mitch McConnell in the Senate says it’s ‘up to the House,’ but still – House Republicans refuse to acknowledge the fact that we must pass an appropriations bill to fund Homeland Security. As I said to you before, we should have passed this in December and removed all doubt that we could move forward in a very strong way to protect the American people. The Republican leadership, the Speaker, at that time said: ‘Well, let’s just do it after the new Congress comes in.’ That was December. The new Congress comes in in January. In January, ‘Je Suis Charlie’ swept the world. Everybody in the world was concerned about homeland security in each person’s county, certainly we in ours – everybody, except in the hermetically sealed chamber of the House of Representatives, where there is still a refusal to accept the fact that we must fund the Homeland Security Department in order to protect the American people in the best possible way.
“And why are they doing this? They’re doing this because they object to the President exercising his constitutional authority to protect immigrants in our country. Ronald Reagan did so. George Herbert Walker Bush did so. President Clinton did so. And President George W. Bush did so. And that was okay. But when President Obama moved to use Executive Action to protect people in our country, they said ‘No’ – and not only ‘No,’ but ‘We’re not going to pass Homeland Security.’ They’re holding the protection and safety of the American people hostage to their opposition to any action the President may take on immigration. So, in any event, we find ourselves in a situation where we have to make sure the American people understand what is at risk here. Even the Republicans in the Senate are saying: ‘It’s up to the House.’ But the House refuses to assume its responsibility.”
Over the years, House Republicans have tried this same tactic in many different forms. Republicans have threatened the country with numerous traumatic economic events. Republicans caused a government shutdown because they thought they had a hostage in Obamacare, but the House majority has hit a new low by playing games with the safety of the American people.
John Boehner’s meltdown/temper tantrum illustrated that the pressure is already getting to the Republicans. Pelosi described the situation correctly. Republicans are refusing to accept the fact that Homeland Security must be funded.
At the root of the matter is the fundamental belief held by House Republicans that the American people are a collection of idiots who aren’t paying attention to anything. Many House Republicans assume that they will be able to blame President Obama and Senate Democrats if the Department of Homeland Security gets shut down. This strategy has never worked, but that isn’t about to stop Republicans from returning to a well that has always been dry.
Democrats are having a field day with this latest episode of Republican self-destruction, and it is only going to get better for them as Republicans crack under the pressure.